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December 2007
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February 2008

Our Home is Skirt by Sea

Green_labrador_skirt It all started when Harki caught her nail when she was hopping into the car. She gave a little yelp but then she seemed happy on her walk, and it got me to thinking that I should clip The Labradors' nails. Usually the Doctors do it, but I can't run to the Hospital every time their nails need clipping: and so it came to pass that Mr Clippy came to live at our house. Oh he's small and innocuous, that Nail Clipper, but he has certainly stirred things up. I decided I would bribe The Labradors in order to clip their nails with fewer hassles. At first, just smelling Mr Clippy or letting me touch their paws merited a special piece of Dog Muesli bar, and then we moved onwards and upwards. By Day 2, Harki was happy to lie on the bed and I could have clipped her nails morning, noon and night- with or without bribery. Peri, on the other hand, is made of sterner- or less clever- stuff, and she is still very flighty. It was during one of these 'flights' that she leaped onto my lap and her paw, with its long nails, made a big hole in my favourite Dolphin skirt. What jolly good luck that I had already made a new green skirt and now I have my new Elevenses_my_precious_2 Green Labrador skirt as well. Two new skirts, so on Australia Day our home is truly skirt by sea!!! 

This year, today, Australia Day: I went to the Citizenship Ceremony, or Nationalisation as I like to call it. There was only one 'mateship' uttered, so on the whole it was pretty good. I did get a tear in my eye when the choir sang 'We Are Australian' and then we all sang the National Anthem. Afterwards there was morning tea with delicious Egg and Lettuce sandwiches (green and gold colours!!!), Whole_peri_in_one ANZACs, sausage rolls and Lamingtons(green and gold coloured too!!!) After the discussion about biscuits, I was forced to have some Iced Vovos for my Elevenses the other day. They weren't as bad as I had anticipated. I think I will have to try some Lemon Crisps next, as brought to the fore by Donni. These were first made her in 1962, a very good year, and are crisp salty biscuits filled with a sweet lemony cream. Very unusual and moreish. And Wagon Wheels?? Well they made the amusing SMH list today and here is a little selection.....

You know you're Australian if …

  • You know the meaning of the word "girt".
  • You understand that the phrase "a group of women wearing black thongs" refers to footwear and may be less alluring than it sounds.
  • You can translate: "Dazza and Shazza played Acca Dacca on the way to Maccas."
  • You understand that "Wagga Wagga" can be abbreviated to "Wagga" but "Woy Woy" can't be called "Woy".
  • Hamburger. Beetroot. Of course.
  • You know that certain words must, by law, be shouted out during any rendition of the Angels' song Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again.
  • You believe, as an article of faith, that the confectionery known as the Wagon Wheel has become smaller with every passing year.
  • You know what it's like to swallow a fly, on occasion via your nose.
  • You still think of Kylie as "that girl off Neighbours".
  • When returning home from overseas, you expect to be brutally strip-searched by Customs - just in case you're trying to sneak in fruit.
  • You find yourself ignorant of nearly all the facts deemed essential in the government's new test for migrants.
  • You know, whatever the tourist books say, that no one says "cobber".*

Harki has been having a lovely time playing with her Squeaky Shrek Head, and shHarki_hearts_shreke has learned its name and can pick it out of a Toy Line Up. Peri has been hoping that there might be some more tasty treats. She's not a dog to do things by halves, and dives right in!!! There are not any treats in the box, just aromas......

I have finished the Pearly Queen Bag. I made it especially with linen, some Japanese material for the lining of the bags and handles, and sewed it with cotton thread. Instead of interfacing I used very thin cotton quilt wadding so it is soft yet sturdy. I have hidden my tag in the very bottom. I am very pleased with the handles, I cut the contrast fabric 6mm narrower than the outer handle fabric so when I turned it right side out, the brown linen rolled over the contrast aPearly_queen_bagnd it sits really nicely.

I have also, Ta Da!! finished my Mum's The Word socks. At last!! They are all done and just need to be de-dog haired and then posted off. So, no photo yet. I don't know what to knit now. I owe MrsDrWho some TARDIS socks for Christmas, but they are beaded and I have never knitted with beads before. I want my Brain to be totally cold and functioning at its peak (Ha ha) before I tackle them. I expect I should finish CornuTOPia. Get some wear before the Summer is over. And sew up my Errol CardiFlynn aka CPH. Then again, I have pomegranates, so I think I might make a little dessert. How I miss Smack The Pony TV series (avert your eyes from this link if you are a little delicate), I should get the DVDs: are you reading this MrsDrWho?? Smack The Pony. Need the DVDs. Are you in an ordering mood???

I have had a Red Hot Go at replying to my comments. Actually for the last two days it has been Luke Warm as the Internet has been having a conniption. So slow it could be almost Not Moving At All. Sigh. I think it's because The Apple Isle is at the Unfashionable end of the Internet Line. Don't hold you breath, but I hope to be back with the Ice Cream recipe and pictorial evidence that I have knitted some socks!!!

* Actually The Apple Isle is the Last Bastion of "Cobber"!!!


*See Biscuit

See_biscuitBecause I can't eat many kinds of biscuits, it is always a joy to find a childhood favourite that I can eat on special: Lattice biscuits. Of course these used to be much larger and flakier. Mum would halve them and fill them with custard and with vanilla or lemon icing they became Homemade Vanilla Slices. In fact there is a recipe on the wrapping paper still. Generally, biscuits are getting smaller as I get older: Iced Vovos, Salada and SAOs. In the past could You fit a SAO in your mouth in one go?? Never could when I was younger but I reckon I could now. And this is in No Way because I have got a big mouth. Just saying thaMainly_harki_and_peri_sewt before anyone else does.

The Labradors have been helping me with my sewing, mainly Harki but you can just see little Peri's front paw. How they don't get stabbed by the pins I will never know. No wonder everything is covered in dog hair. I have finished my Green Labrador skirt and I wore it today.

We have had rain, a whole day of rain, and it has been much cooler. There Harki_puddling were big puddles of water in the car park at the dam so we drove right in. The Labradors had a big paddle and play in the long puddles. You can see their reflections. The weather has been sunny, but still chilly. Peri wanted to be under her doona in the bed and she popped under and stayed there. Harki and I are made of sterner stuff and I managed with just a sheet, though I did cover my feet later on!!Peri_puddling

So, I have unravelled and reknitted my Mum's The Word sock. So there is just One Word. My new camera takes much better close up pictures. I will have to see just how close I can get. These are knitted using The Knittery's old Cashmere Merino (Merino Cashmere?? CashMerino??) in Blues and the pattern is Diagonal Fern. Still haven't found my notes so I will be counting stitches and The_word_one_2rows on the first sock to make the second the same. It is definitely deliciously squooshy and warm.

I have taken the advice of those more sage and added some button swirls to the front panel of my little brown linen bag. I am quite pleased. I can still see my first attempt in there, but the swirls break it up quite nicely and it looks much more abstract and random. Well I think it does. Now I can start sewing the actual bag. I have even bought real cotton thread. Going all out here.

MrsDrWho and I had a leisurely brunch this morning. I had a BLT with chilli mayo and a beautifully poached egg on top and MrsDrWho had fish, salad and chips. She gave me a chip: that's what friends are for. Then we browsed in some shops. She was measuring bookcases for school and so I got to make a spreadsheet of all the measurements. I also looked at watercolour pencils. I had tins of 72 different colours when I was still at school. Nowadays the most I could find was a tin of 36. We also found a surprise selection of Christmas fabric and bits'n'bobs inButton_down_the_hatch a craft shop: and 3 balls of Patonyle too!!!

Thankfully, MrsDrWho's wine rack dilemma...has been solved!!! I expect I might be able to help just a little with her other wine related problem!! We have just 6 episodes of Stargate: Atlantis the Thirdly Season left to watch and then, oh the torture, what shall we watch next??? Blake's 7 Season 3, Babylon 5 Seasons 2 though 5 and we have Crusade, the movies, the Rangers movie and also the latest straight-to-DVD movies too, Battlestar Galactica, old and new. We are too spoiled for choice. I think we will probably go back to Stargate the Original series and keep going with that.

I have been doing lots more this last week or so than in the whole of December I think: it is so much cooler, and I am feeling a bit better. Next time I will have skirts to show, and maybe I will finish my Little Brown Linen Bag. And think of a better name for it too. Oh and I want to make Nigella's Pomegranate Ice Cream: I had never eaten a pomegranate till MrsDrWho one on her fruit platter just before Christmas. They make me go all Delia and Nigella!!!!

*No Tobey Maguires were harmed in the writing of this post, even if Peter Parker and Mary Jane have entered into some weird comic book agreement with a Faustian character and had all memory of their marriage wiped from The Universe in exchange for Aunt May's life??????


I Can See Pair-o'Dogs by The Dashboard Lights

Yes_a_biscuit_for_sitting_labradorsWho knew I knew so many songs from Bat Out of Hell??? Certainly not me. I was idly watching ABC2 and Classic Albums started and lo and behold I could sing along with some of the lyrics. It made me think, do I know any songs by The Cure?? Should I know anything by The Cure?? Perhaps I am confusing them with The Clash?? I don't know, it kind of makes me panic. I should just stick to Frank, Doris, Tony, Dean et al. I can recognise Bryan Adams because MrsDrWho likes him. I know it's hip to be square, but my hips must be ginormous!! I don't usually take The Labradors for a ride inA_biscuit_for_us the car at night, so strictly speaking I have never seen them by the dashboard lights. I see them fairly often by the verandah light: that would be The Sun!!! I have just noticed too, that Peri always seems to sit on Harki's left as I look at the photo. I wonder why??

I did a spot of Kitten Sitting yesterday. Caramello is quite the self starter, very independent. If she doesn't like the way you are playing with the toy on a stick, she Butterfly_wings_skirtjust goes and gets a toy she likes!! She has grown so much already. Cleo let me pick her up and pat her, but then she went outside into The Cateau. I did take something away with me though: ants. Ants invaded my handbag and there I was, in the waiting room trying to look nonchalant as I squished ants. Hoping they didn't smell 'anty'. I suppose I should be grateful it didn't escalate to ants in my pants!!!

I have sewn a skirt. I have worn my skirt and I like it. I did wash the material first but it still feels brand new. I might wash it a few times in a row. I am thinking of making the Green Labrador skirt today. I also have finally taken a picture of the Rudolph Rug I made MrsDrWho for Christmas. It has been commandeered by Cleo. She likes to sit on top of the lounge chair and this is in her spoRudolph_rugt now. To make it, I carefully cut out 4 reindeer from felt and then blanket stitched around them. There would have been more, but it took Forever. I did teeny tiny stitches to ensure the reindeer were well and truly applied. In other sewing news I have also sewn buttons onto the brown linen. I have no idea what I am doing, I am going for an abstracty look but I seem to have made an 'S'. Sigh. S for Sigh. Now I shall have to worry aSbuttonsbout if I  should change it. It is going to be a small tote bag. Eventually. It isn't for me, obviously. It is very strange to be working with non-Green buttons and fabric.

I have also knitted. Yes, it is still cool and so I have knitted a Squidge Cloth, pattern by Sasha!! I used 3.75mm and Anchor Magicline too, but I changed the pattern just a little. I like symmetry, so I cast on 44 stitches and worked K4,P4 to the last 4 stitches where I K4-ed again, and so on. I like the balanced look of having matching Knits and Purls at the end of rows. The Magicline made a nice travelling pattern. I think the mark at the side was made by a Labrador, possible a bit of the treat they were waiting for in the pictures above. They are boogelly!! They also both like to insinuate themselves into craft photos. I must delete ten times as many as ever make it to being posted- all with part or a whole of a dog in them, maybe two. Squidge_cloth

So today we are staying home, we slept in because it was cool, and we are all lazing about. I plan on reading and maybe even picking up my The Word socks for my mum. They had a little accident where I knitted instead of purled the garter stitch and so I had to unravel them almost to the gusset pick up. I may pick them up. And I plan to watch quite a lot of 30Rock. I have about 8 episodes, that's all they showed before the Tennis took over the small screen. I'm also keeping an ear on the radio as we have bushfires. There was one in the Gorge behind me 2 days ago, but today there is one in Bellingham where my friends live.They are in Melbourne. Luckily in the Apple Isle we all look after each other so I know their neighbours will be defending their house if it is necessary. There are about 10 brigades and 90 firefighters (where would we be without all the paid and volunteer firefighters??) at the moment but all the roads are closed and the power is cut so there's no getting through. The weather is on our side though, it is much cooler and the wind has dropped. So fingers crossed it will be under control soon.

Oh and I am having Luddite issues. I finally (after how many years???) found where the email addresses of people who comment are located: in the bowels of my blog.. Now if only I could work out how to reply to comments without having to copy and paste them into my Hotmail. Other people can do it. Sigh. Oh for the days of yore!!!


It is a Par-fait Better Thing That I Do...

Beautiful_harki_2Than I have ever done... What the Dickens?, you might ask. Well I made Parfait, Raspberry Parfait, and it was delicious. I took a picture of it pre-freezing and then it was eaten. So simple and so easy: recipe follows at the end of the post!! It is delicious. It was eaten on a balcony overlooking the river with friends, some people I hadn't seen for a while, with a mixed berry cheese cake, bubbly and a cool breeze. What a nice way to spend an afternoon!!!

We have had some cool weather and been for such a long walk: 32 minutes long. Harki and Peri were very puffed out and had a big rest when they got home. Peri has turned Six. Every year it is hard to believe she is so grown up now!! We met a lady and her two dogs on our walk and she thought Peri was One!!! To be fair, Peri was running about like a mad puppy and playing with the other pups, but still!!! For birthday breakfast there was Diet Dry Dog Food, Passionfruit yoPeris_birthday_breakfastghurt, fresh peaches and a sprinkling of diced Schmackos. It was delicious and they both cleaned their bowls up. Well, I don't know that it tasted delicious, but they gobbled it all up, so I reckon it was good.

RoseRed has influenced me with her Plastic Bag Power, and I have fulfilled my wool need by putting it into plastic ziplock bags instead of knitting it. I have done most of my sock wool and some of my Jumper wool and some of the Other. I have quite a lot of 'Other'. I have bought   Sock_woolsome more new big clear storage bags so I can divide it up even further. Then I plan to make a wide ranging spreadsheet and make sure I know exactly what I have. Then I might just buy some more!!!

I have some new things too. I am all about the Collage Picture Grid at the moment, so I'll elucidate, left to right, along each row:

  1. A doorhanger reminder note pad, that is both Green and has a Dog on it: Bliss
  2. New Pernamnet* markers that write on just about everything and there are 2 greens and a tealy colour!! (More_new_things* I always say it that way deliberately.)
  3. Japanese material, mostly green dots but a little section of brown too
  4. My new hat, on sale for $11
  5. Brown linen and 'Vintage' buttons to make a little bag
  6. Fabric that is green and has Labradors to make....
  7. A new skirt with this pattern. It was so hard to find a pattern without a waistband, and though I know perfectly well how to draft one, I was too hot to do it myself.
  8. My new Knitting Journal. I love it, it has elastic to keep it closed. I must update my projects from about 6 months ago till now...
  9. And last, new fabric to make a skirt to replace the faded old Dolphin skirt that is at the bottom on the picture.

I'm thinking of making a little bag out of my skirt so I can keep it as a reminder. I have seen my sock tote pattern out and about a bit. There is a gorgeous Hogwarts tote here, The Purse Project, and even one lined with green here!!! Of course who doesn't have one?? Me, so I think I will have a Dolphin Skirt sock totGorgeous_cookbooke!!!

The Madcages gave me such a lovely book for Christmas, it is a Dogs' Cookbook. It has lovely recipe names like Easter Paw-rade and Pupp-eroni Pizza and there's even special food for when your dog is ill, icy poles and even after dinner mints!!!! I reckon there might be a few surprises for Harki and Peri soon!!!

And I forgot to say that cicadas are the sound of the bush, aren't they? This year we are invaded, but it is almost over and the poor, worn-out-from-mating cicadas are being eaten by ants. That, and the smell of the gum trees, sand in your bathers and between your toes and in your sandwiches, the barbie, ice blocks clinking and the screen door slamming: This is Australia!!!

PS I loved my video of Harki and Peri. It was at one stage the 3rd most watched Pets and Animal video on Youtube!!! Thanks for the lovely comments about The Labradors!!

Fruit Parfait

  • 180g of good white chocolateRaspberry_parfait
  • 500g Greek Yoghurt
  • 200-300g of fresh fruit: berries, mango, stone fruit for example.
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup icing sugar, more or less to your taste

Allow the yoghurt to come to room temperature, well not if it is 47*C, but you don't want it refrigerator cold. Melt the white chocolate every so slowly over warm water or in the microwave. In fact it is best to only partially melt it and then stir till it is smooth. Cool on the bench, but it mustn't set again. Meanwhile blend your chosen fruit to a pulp with the icing sugar. Then blend/mix the chocolate, yoghurt and fruit together and freeze overnight and it's done. You need to remove it from the freezer about 15-20 minutes before you want to eat it.


Et YouTube Brute???

Hot_walks Something Very Exciting has happened at MrsDrWho's house: well, exciting for her, apparently not so exciting for Cleo!! She is one cat away from being that scary woman with all the cats!!! It has been all go over there. Here, not so much. I am very glad to know there are people on holidays enjoying the hot weather, because then it isn't Harki_in_the_paddle_poolwasted. We are too hot, and lie for hours in front of the cool air and waft ice about everywhere. The heat is not conducive to much knitting or even sewing. Do you know how much heat the light on the sewing machine makes?? Enough to fry eggs I think!!! Actually, as it has rarely been below 30*C since Christmas, let's take it as read from here on in that it is very hot, and we don't like it!!! Saves a lot of typing in future posts.

Of course The Labradors have been in the paddle pool, keeping cool. I try to feed them ice, but they don't like it. MrsDrWho's god-daughter suggested I freeze a treat in a container of water and then they would lick or chew their icy way into it. I just remembered now, so I will have to do that. Harki is looking particularly cute!! Peri doesn't like to be in the paddle pool very much if Harki is already there, I think it is a respect thing.

I have made a collage of a few of the lovely presents from Christmas. I am very spoiled!!! As spoiled as The Labradors. I still have to post my own cards etc.  I was a bad Christmas person last year. In the picture I have:Collage

  • 2 Dalek clocks, one glows in the dark and the other speaks, which drives Harki and Peri BeserkersBonkers!!,
  • a box of tea for emergencies when I am too tired to make a pot
  • Frank, I love Frank's singing
  • Bubbles to drink whilst listening to Frank
  • 2 lots of delicious Aussie sock wool
  • a lemon tree (oh oh oh)
  • and a salad salad bowl

And I have taken photos with my new camera. I love, love, love it. Thank you!!! For a start, the batteries don't fall out all the time!! It has an inny/outy zoom and a big view screen and it should do macro a little bit as well. Of course I can't drive it yet, but I had a try at making a video while I was walking The Labradors today: it will make a little video with sound!! This then, is what I have spent all afternoon doing, uploading it and then trying to make it appear here. It is amply evident that I am no Zeffirelli, I wouldn't even get a gig on the next Blair Witch film, in fact I am renowned for my inability to master(mistress??) any form of camera, but here we go: The Labradors going for a walk in the bush at the Hydro dam, with cicadas in the background. Do not adjust your sets. Every time I play this, and Yes, I have played it a lot, The Labradors come running when I whistle. Faithful hounds!!! You can hear them panting above the sound of the insects!!!

I think bloggers everywhere should be afraid, really afraid, if this works. There could be more......

Now all I need is a Bex and a good lie down in a cool room. I have just about finished looking at all my Bloglines posts and is that a weight off my mind??? Everyone has been so busy and made so many wonderful things it makes me wish it was October again so I could start making Christmas things. In Australia we have already had our first Hot Cross Buns of the year, they were in the 2007-8 New Year Grocery catalogues. Easter is early, in the sixth week of school, so I expect they have to be really really ready.2_labradors_in_a_fountain

Can't think of anything else to say really, I am a Terry Pratchett Troll. I have done a tiny bit of knitting in the early morning when it is coolest. Looking forward to National Treasure 2. I know it is a B-Film,  but it is Summer holiday fare!!! Going out to lunch with friends over the next few weeks. Oh and I am making MrsDrWho TARDIS socks, I just have to ask Daphne to dye some wool TARDIS Blue for me!! A cup of tea now I think: Bottoms up!! (Excuse The Labradors!!!)